Your website is your shop window.
And, in 2022, your online presence faces:
- More competition
- Greater expectations from potential clients
- Less time to engage prospects before they decide to look elsewhere.
That means you’ve got to get it right.
Unfortunately, many financial advisers and planners are making the same mistakes with their website:
- Unwilling to invest enough money
- Putting it in the hands of one person
- Failing to prioritise the content.
So, put the kettle on.
Open your website.
And let me convince you why cost, collaboration, and content should be your top priority.
Consider value, not cost
Even financial advisers and planners with decent sized businesses sometimes push back on the cost of a website.
Adviser 1: “We’ll rebuild our website when we secure more clients.”
Me: “Your website will help you attract more clients! Your clients don’t start contributing to their pension when they’ve achieved their retirement goals!”
Adviser 2: “My website is just a business card.”
Me: “If you still use a business card, the likelihood is that it communicates your contact details and little else. A website should explain how you help clients, how you can help the prospect, and why people should use you. How many people can you reach with a business card? Tens? Hundreds? An effective website can help you reach thousands. Also, a prospective client can’t throw your website in the bin!”
Adviser 3: “I can’t afford it.”
Me: “We understand that this can be an issue for new startups. However, you should be factoring marketing into your initial costs and website development is included within that. In my experience, new startups do better when they get their marketing right from day one. If you view the costs as a five-year investment (the typical shelf life of a website), it looks a lot more affordable.”
Building the right team
In our experience, too many financial advisers/planners put their website in the hands of one person.
Much like you wouldn’t expect a mortgage broker to advise on retirement, you shouldn’t expect your website developer to write engaging, beautifully written copy.
You need at least five people on the job.
Let’s imagine you’re building a new house or fitting an extension…
Person one: Designer
Differently to your website developer, your designer will use their skills, experience, and inspiration to design each page of your site.
Their role is comparable to that of an architect, turning the concept of a building into a plan.
Person two: Developer
This is the person who will use their coding know-how to turn the designer’s vision into a fully functioning website, using very different skills, knowledge, and experience.
See them as your builder, digging the foundations and laying the bricks.
Person three: Content writer
As I’ll cover in a moment, content writing is so often an afterthought.
However, producing fantastic copy is an essential component to a successful website and will bring your business to life. Telling your firm’s story, introducing your team, and showing how you have changed lives can convince a prospect to become a client.
We’ve all read property brochures.
The very best examples aren’t written by amateurs.
And there’s another person who gets hold of them before the prospective buyer…
Person four: Proofreader
Grammatical and spelling errors are a sure-fire way to turn off a prospect.
As a skill in itself, don’t expect your content writer to be able to effectively proofread their own work.
Person five: Quality control
If your house or extension doesn’t meet building regulation, all your hard work up to that point might be for nothing. It’s likely to be expensive and time consuming to fix. At the very least, the prospective buyer is going to lose confidence in your ability to deliver what they wanted.
See the similarities?
Your website needs to be thoroughly checked before going live.
Forms and links need to work, images need to appear correctly, and the site needs to look great on different browsers and devices.
It’s easy to underestimate the value that (at least) one pair of fresh pair of eyes can bring.
Content is king
As I mentioned, many financial advisers/planners fail to appreciate the importance of quality content.
So, what do clients want to see on your website?
Here’s a few ideas to get you started.
9 times out of 10, this will be the most popular page on your website.
No surprises there.
What do the best homepages do?
- Provide easily accessible navigation menus
- Offer effective opening statements that put the visitor at ease and position your firm
- Empathise with the reason they are on your site. Potential clients will visit your website because they have a financial problem they want to solve or aspiration they want to achieve. You need to empathise with them, while showing that you are the right adviser/planner for them
- Introduce the team (read more about that next)
- Showcase their clients using genuine examples and images
- Include an effective and welcoming call to action.
Prospective clients need to feel comfortable placing their trust in you and your team just as much as the firm itself.
We recommend a page for each team member, not just your advisers and planners. Use high-quality images and well-written copy, allowing the prospect to get to know you all a little better before reaching out.
We’re not about to restart an old debate.
But, if you choose to include a fees page, it’s going to be popular.
You need to ensure that you demonstrate the value of financial planning, explain your fees clearly, and show that the service you’re offering will be delivered.
A last word from us at The Yardstick Agency
If you’re a financial services professional and need a hand with your marketing, we’re here to help.
As the UK’s highest-rated marketing agency specialising in financial services, we help financial planners, investment managers, and product providers to market their business more effectively.
Whether you’ve got a specific marketing challenge, need a strategy to deliver business growth, or just feel that something is missing, get in touch today.
In need of effective business management?
Do you need help remembering why you started your business in the first place?
Would you like to spend more of your working day doing what you love, knowing a dedicated team are managing day-to-day activities in the background?
For effective business management, reach out to Fusion Management.
Founder and Director
via Abi Robinson